Ceres is revealing more about its pockmarked surface. Two ambiguous bright spots, first seen by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2003, appear to be a cluster of ice patches nestled at the bottom of a crater, new images from the Dawn spacecraft suggest. Some scientists had previously suggested that the spots could be water vapor plumes erupting from Ceres’ surface.
Dawn arrived at Ceres on March 6. On May 10, the spacecraft started a monthlong drop to an altitude of 4,400 kilometers above the dwarf planet. From there, Dawn will spend three weeks mapping the surface of Ceres.